JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<May 7> Country to what the Americans are, they say it cannot be possible that men should leave their homes and come so far, unless they were truly the Servants of the Lord; they do not seem to understand argument, simple testimony is enough for them, they beg and plead for the book of Mormon and were it not for the Priests,— the people would follow after the Servants of the Lord and enquire what they should do to be saved: the Priests feel just as they did in the days of the Savior. If they let “this sect alone, all men will believe on them and the Romans will come and take away our place and nation.” I wish you would tell me how Cousin Lemuel gets along with his business and all the boys on the half breed tract— and the whole breed. I think a great deal about our friends, families, and possessions. I look for the time when the Lord will speak so that the hearts of the rebellious will be pierced, you will remember the words of the Savior to his disciples, he says to you is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them that are without all things in parables.
The brethren here are very anxious to emigrate to that , some want to come this fall, where shall they go? their customs are different to ours, and it would be more pleasant for them to settle by themselves. Almost without exception it is the poor that receive the Gospel. I think there will be some over this fall, my Counsel to such as intend to come, is, that they go to the Western States where you [HC 4:126] can live among the farmers and wait for orders from the Authorities of the Church, and all will be well. You must excuse my bad writing, I have only catched at ideas. I want to know about the brethren’s coming over this fall, I think some of us will come, we shall send our papers to you, and to a number of the rest of the brethren. I wish you would have the goodness to give me a pretty general knowledge of the Church for I feel for them and pray for them continually. We need help very much in this Country, one American can do more here than a number of the Elders who are raised up here by the preaching of the Gospel, we have sent for some to come, I wish you would encourage them to come as quick as they can.
If we could go four ways at a time we could not fill all the calls we have for preaching. I shall expect such Counsel from you about the Elders coming as you shall think necessary for us and them to have, I wish to know what the prospect is about the government’s doing any thing for us. When we left I thought there was but a poor chance for us. Concerning being called to the Seventies and sent to other Countries I should like to know whether it would be proper to ordain them to that office or not while here? Had any of us better come back this fall, I suppose that some that come over with us will return— and , and if he gets at liberty. I suppose you have heard that he is in prison, he has been [p. 1057]